Academics and volunteers build a replica of a 4000 year-old Bronze Age boat

A 50ft replica of a Bronze Age boat has completed its maiden voyage in Cornwall.

Experts from The National Maritime Museum modelled the 5000-tonne wooden vessel on three ancient boats discovered in a mudbank in Hull, the oldest of which dates back to 2000 BC.

Volunteers used traditional tools, including bronze axe heads, to build the boat out of two oak trees under the guidance of shipwright Brian Cumby in collaboration with the museum and the University of Exeter.

Professor Van de Noort, one of the world’s leading experts in Bronze Age period boats, said the project had “revolutionised everything we knew” about ancient seafaring.

“We always said you had to build the whole boat to understand what Bronze Age people experienced.

When I was steering the boat and it got up to speed, I could turn her easily and it was more seaworthy than I expected.

“There have been doubters, professionally, who questioned the feasibility of this vessel crossing the seas. This project has proven that it was possible.”

The replica Bronze Age boat is available to view now on the Museum’s pontoon.